Shoot the Moon
Dr. Mark Albright, a handsome bachelor veterinarian catering to the pets of Hollywood's elite, is the hero in Billie Letts's latest novel. His comfortable world crashes around him when he discovers that he is adopted and that his real mother was murdered. A toddler, he had vanished from her home before the body was discovered. The tiny town of DeClare, Oklahoma, had not had as much excitement in years as when he turns up seeking answers.
O Boy Daniels is the sheriff on record as the chief investigator of the long-ago crime scene. He's not cooperative when Mark presumes to be a lawyer attempting to find the heir to land in Arkansas that Gaylene Harjo has left to her son. Daniels sticks to the story that Joe Dawson, a local drunk, had killed her and had later taken his own life.
Letts works her setting to her advantage in laying out the story. The backwater small town reeks of "good-old-boy" chatter that stays on record as gospel truth. The local law enforcement character is bossy, crude and gives no quarter when his mind is set on a conviction. A natty professional from out of the state gets little satisfaction in his quest for the truth until he dips deep into town history.
Teeve's Place is the town's gossip center. A group of geezers plays dominoes there daily. "Shoot the Moon" is the term used to go for broke in a domino game. Albright, with the help of Ivy, Charlene Teeve's pregnant daughter, looks deeper into the mystery of his mother's murder. He uses Gaylene's diary to their advantage when he sifts through the lies surrounding her death. Small-town cover-ups compare to those universally found when lust, murder, accident and embarrassment seek to retain the status quo.
Letts's story is fast-moving, well-told and displays the wit she has honed in previous Oklahoma novels. A conclusion satisfies the reader's curiosity and brings understanding and growth to her characters. Earlier novels have touched the heart, but SHOOT THE MOON expands the author's prowess into the mystery genre. I highly recommend SHOOT THE MOON to Letts's fans and to those who are sure to jump on her bandwagon.
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on January 23, 2011
Shoot the Moon
- Publication Date: July 1, 2004
- Genres: Fiction
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Warner Books
- ISBN-10: 0446529001
- ISBN-13: 9780446529006